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The Ed Show

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Us 32, Susan Rice 8, Benghazi 8, John Mccain 7, America 7, Chris Van Hollen 5, Obama 5, Scott Walker 4, Mitch Mcconnell 4, Citi 4, Alabama 4, Washington 4, Zales 3, John Nichols 3, U.s. 3, Mcconnell 3, Harry Reid 3, Cia 3, Lindsey Graham 3, Obama Administration 3,
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  MSNBC    The Ed Show    News/Business.  (2012) New.  

    November 16, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00pm EST  

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fight against terrorism. will he now bring us fiscal and immigration policies that secure a confident, competent 21st century? will he face down the threat of climate change, will he dare to be great? this is "hardball" for now. "the ed show" starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. breaking news tonight, three republican senators want watergate-style hearings on benghazi. harry reid is slamming the door on that idea. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> general petraeus's briefing was comprehensive. i think it was important to our ability to make judgments about what is clearly a fill jury of intelligence. >> a week after stepping down from the cia, general david petraeus testifies on capitol hill. tonight, colonel lawrence wilkerson separates fact from fiction and has strong words for john mccain. president obama meets with house and senate leadership to
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avoid the fiscal cliff. >> i think we're all aware that we have some urgent business to do. i think all of us agree on this and this is action. >> we'll have congressman chris van hollen here to expose the problem. governor scott walker joins rick perry in opposition to health care. john nick els joins us with the latest. secessionists are coming out of the woodwork. wait until you hear their reasons. >> good to have you with us. thanks for watching president the right wing afelt to gin up a scandal is falling apart. republicans have declared the president is covering up information about benghazi. republicans gave us a pregame of accusations, involving ambassador susan rice. some house members say this is
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worse than watergate. >> this is not simply a coverup of a third-rate burglary. we have four of our diplomatic personnel dead and it has not a mccarthy era tactic to demand that the american people ares no misinformed about it to the point that they don't know what the threat is. >> the loud mouths were john mccain of arizona who spent the last three days despairaging ambassador rice for her public remarks about benghazi early on. >> susan rice should have known better. if she didn't know better, she's not qualified. i will brok her to be the united states secretary of state. she has proven she either doesn't understand or not willing to accept evidence on its face. >> these republicans were certain they were absolutely
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certain susan rice was not telling the truth. >> so when the president says that susan rice was giving out -- talking about the most updated, fully documented documents, that's not true. >> general david petraeus. the disgraced chief testified to the house and senate committees today. petraeus destroyed one major republican conspiracy early on just by showing up. republicans were convinced petraeus resigned last week to avoid testifying about benghazi. he destroyed another conspiracy by confirming what we already knew, the talking points from the cia given to ambassador rice and members of congress were the same and read as follows: the information suggests that the demonstrations in benghazi were containously inspired by the u.s. embassy in cairo and a
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direct assault. extremists participated in the violent demonstrations. petraeus testified that he and others knew al qaeda-aligned terrorists were involved in the attack, but ultimately, they removed the language from the declassified talking points that susan rice used. terrorism, pert michael lighten says "this is a common practice in intelligence briefings." >> it's a place the intelligence community has to be is having classified information and having to talk about it publ publicly. the unclassified statements often appear to be misleading, but what they are doing is protecting the sensitive information which is in the classified realm. >> senator conrad told it like it is. >> what is very clear is that ambassador rice used the talking points that the intelligence committee had all signed off on.
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that is very, very clear. she used the unclassified talking points that were signed off on by the entire intelligence community. so criticisms of her are completely unwarranted. that is very clear. >> let me paraphrase president obama. could you say that a little louder, senator conrad? >> what is very clear is that ambassador rice used the unclassified talking points, the unclassified talking points that the entire intelligence community had signed off on. so she did completely the appropriately thing. >> it's amazing what happens in hearings, isn't it? the demeanor of the republican committee members after the hearing made it clear there's no bomb shell. check out john mccain. he was a pit bull all week.
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today a little different story. >> we described his actions and that of his agency and their interaction with other agencies and i appreciate the service and his candor. >> did he tell you about the situation? >> congressman peter king admitted general petraeus okayed the final talking points given to ambassador rice. >> he didn't know? >> they were not involved. the process was completed and he said go with those talking points. i got the impression of eight or nine different agencies. >> no. >> you said the cia said okay to the revised report? >> they okayed it to go.
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yeah, they said okay. >> no apology for ambassador susan rice after a full week of just trashing her? these republicans have a lot of explaining to do for their behavior this week, don't you think? ambassador rice has been exonerated, it took one day. if you watch fox news, there's still a conspiracy afoot. >> nothing about the attack, nothing about al qaeda, nothing about that al qaeda was involved. to me, who changed the talking points and why? >> that is the big question at this hour. who changed the talking points and why? >> republicans are doing whatever it takes to fake a scandal in the obama administration. paul waldman calls it scandal envy. nixon had watergate, clinton had le win ski and obama has gotten off scot-free and it's making the republicans livid. republicans are not going to get the watergate this time around. senator harry reid wrote a
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letter to john mccain and lindsey graham saying a collect committee for investigation will not happen. the time for phoney outrage is over. republicans need to get back to the real problems facing americans. get your cell phones out. tonight's question, will the gop stop their witch hunt on benghazi? text a for yes, b for no to 622639. or you can leave a comment on our blog. and we'll bring you results later on in the show. joining me now is retired colonel lawrence wilkerson, former chief of staff number colin powell's term. colonel, good to have you with us tonight. >> good to be here, ed. >> take us down the road of talking points. do we see unified talking points? is this common practice that the intell committee will get
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together to brief the congress and to brief the country? and is it usual they might leave out information and not spill everything? take us down that road. >> absolutely. let me say first that i took your last comments aboard and i was thinking barbara bush, the grand lady of the gop, put it very eloquently today. she said they won. get over it. move on. that's some tremendously good advice for my political party. this is still the political high season for lindsey graham and john mccain who using a description of newt gingrich seemed to be off their meds and out of therapy a little early. they need to get their act together. there are challenges this country needs to confront and it needs to confront them in a i i unified way. but to your question, yes, this is the way it happens. when a crisis occurs. the president and ministers and
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others turn to the intelligence committee, normally through the director of national intelligence, and they say what happened? and the talking points come forward. the diplomats don't know in the u.n. exactly what happened on the ground in benghazi. they trust the intelligence community and others in the government to give them the talking points and then they give those talking points feeling that they are giving the truth to the american people. >> so what it comes down to, can we come to the conclusion that the republicans department like the talking points and they didn't think there was enough information in them, so now they are saying tlg a coverup? >> i think it's more serious than that. i think they don't like susan rice so they have fabricated some attacks to try to keep her from, as they think is a possibility, being nominated to be the replacement for secretary of state hillary clinton so they are starting their attack early. this very idea that one single senator, this used to gall me at the state department, it galled me at the defense department
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too. that one single senator can exercise his will and stop the appointment of a president's secretary or assistant secretary is nonsense. we have to get beyond this sort of thing. >> john mccain and lindsey graham aren't beyond it. would you term them as being overzealous this week and out of bounds? what about their behavior as senators? they were ready to condemn the administration and susan rice before any testimony was heard. >> there were and as i said, it's still a political season. get over it. the democrats won. let's get on with the nation's business. you know, we have lost more diplomats than we have generals. that will tell you something about how dangerous it is to be a diplomat. ryan crocker for whom i had infinite respect made a comment yesterday. these people work in dangerous territory.
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that's not to say we shouldn't investigate the circumstances under which they get injured or lose their lives, but this is a dangerous job. george w. bush had 3,000 americans killed on his watch and we didn't even get to the commission that investigated him until 2004. and there was incompetence there and there was intelligence failure there, but we got beyond that. we need to get beyond this, because we have some serious challenges confronting this country. >> yes, we do. john mccain said to the reporters there at capitol hill today after this hearing that there were intelligence failures. where are the intelligence failures? i mean isn't the fog of war accounting for some of the chaos that took place here? it's like they want an absolute perfect report in the midst of a terrorist attack and petraeus knew early on it was a terrorist attack, but he wasn't going to tell the country about it. >> the director of the cia is under an obligation to keep black ops black. he can't go out and start
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spilling the beans. he endangers people's lives and endangers sources and methods. he endangers fragile contacts. we have a real mess in northern mali right now. al qaeda is resurgent there. so we have a real problem. i'm sure they were setting up an operation that monitor that problem and do something about it. you can't go on the television and start spilling the beans to the american people when you have people in harm's way. this is not necessarily an intelligence failure. it's simply a political move by my party to try to capitalize on what they think are the deficiencies of a president who just beat the daylights out of them. >> great to have you with us. thank you for your expertise. remember to answer tonight's question at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter and facebook. coming up, party leaders said the fiscal cliff meeting was constructive. but if you listen carefully to
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mitch mcconnell, folks, we have trouble brewing. chris van hollen joins me. stay with us. look how small they were! [ husband ] transfer! [ male announcer ] free data transfer at home. you just deleted all the photos! you did! no you did! [ male announcer ] or free data transfer when you buy a windows 8 computer at staples. another way staples makes it easier to upgrade. part of a whole new line of tablets from dell.
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coming up, congressional leaders had a constructive meeting with the president today. will had it lead to progress on the fiscal cliff? congressman chris van hollen weighs in next. then governor scott walker is one refusing to implement obama care revision. john nickels explains why that's a good thing. and this is a story that burns me. the post office suffers record losses because of republican legislation and republican inaction. the postal workers union to discuss how the service can be saved in this lame duck session. share your thoughts on face and twitter. we're coming right back.
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when they unite...magic. cookie! [ male announcer ] and anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't deserve the extra chocolate chips. download zeebox free, and make magic when you watch tv. meeting with the president. >> it was a constructive meeting. >> it was a very constructive meeting. >> i can only echo the efforts of the other leaders it was a constructive meeting. >> welcome back to "the ed show." niceties are out of the way. we hope the fiscal cliff talks will be constructive and we won't be all about seeing democrats caving into a bad deal. this morning president obama met with congressional leaders to begin negotiations on the so-called fiscal cliff. the president said the parties need to work together, find some common ground and make some
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tough compromises and build some consens consensus. john boehner got the message. >> to show our seriousness, we have put revenue on the table as long as it's accompanied by significant spending cuts. >> senate majority leader harry reid and democratic leader nancy pelosi sounded equally positive. >> we have the cornerstones of being able to work something out. we'll both have to give up some of the things that we know are a problem. >> we understand that it has to be about cuts, it has to be about revenue, it has to be about growth. >> then came senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. so we might have a fly in the ointment. here it is. >> i can say on the part of my members that we fully understand that you can't save the country until you have entitlement programs that fit the demographics of the changing america in the coming years.
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we're prepared to put revenue on the table, provided we fix the real problem. >> the real problem? let me tell you something, senator. the real problem is two unfunded wars from the bush years, the bush tax cuts, and the give away to big pharma. senator mcconnell, it seems to me like he's up to something here. he knows how far senator bernie sanders and other democrats are going to defend the big three. senator mcconnell is hoping to get the democrats fighting one another on this, over the entitlement reform. but do we have common ground here on day one, let's bring in congressman chris van hollen of maryland. great to have you with us tonight. >> always good to be with you. >> do we have positive move forward? we're hearing republicans say they will give up some revenue. your take on it. >> as you said, ed, most of them are saying the right thing, but
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the devil is always in the details. and it's important to remember that we already had a trillion dollars worth of cuts to the budget as part of the budget control act. now it's time to take the balanced approach and important to put revenue on the table. we're asking them to contribute more. so that's what the president talked about during the presidential campaign. he got a good majority. we know the exit polls support the president. we have to move forward. republicans need to make sure they wake up to this fact before january 1st would be best, but they need to recognize that come january 1st, if they are not willing to deal with this revenue piece, the president is going to be able to the american people and say, you know what, e we want to give tax relief to 98% of the american people, but republicans are holding everyone h hostage until they get a break for folks at the top. >> so the democrats have been very clear. got to have some revenue on the
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table. it's got to come from the wealthiest americans. we want to spending cuts. then they will look at entitlements. in fact, he said this is the real problem. are democrats willing to buy into that, that the real problem is the big three and you're going to have to serve up some revenue in those programs? >> no, what democrats have said with respect to medicare is that we can build on the approach that we took in the affordable care act, which is different than the republican approach. the republican approach has been let's pass on the costs and risk of higher health care prices to seniors. they would do it through the voucher program and other mechanisms. we have always said that's the wrong approach. if you want to save money in medicare, you need to bring down health care costs overall, you need to end the overpayments to the private insurance companies, which is what we did in obama care. there are additional ways to
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save money by improving the incentives in the medicare system to end these overpayments. but we don't support the republican approach of transferring the costs on to seniors. that doesn't solve the problem. we need to contain health care costs throughout the system, not just pass those costs on to seniors. >> can you keep social security off the table? >> we have said and we have been very clear about this. social security cannot be part of the deficit reduction talks. we are willing to consider social security on its own merits to strengthen social security. remembering that social security can pay 100 cents on the dollar until the year 2034. after that, you do have a shortfall of 25 cents on the dollar. we should plan sooner rather than later, but that should not be part of the deficit reduction equation.
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>> when they say reform, they are talking about cuts. i get a little nervous when i hear about framework and targets because it sounds like that might be an opportunity to kick the can down the road. straighten me out on that. tell our audience you can feel confident in a framework and we can move on. >> you're right. this is the moment to deal with this issue because the bush tax cuts expire by law at the end of december. and it is time now to say to the country, we're going to be serious about the deficit in a sense we're going to ask everybody to share responsibility. we already did these cuts. now higher-income people have to contribute more because if they don't, the math gets pretty simple. that's when you do have big hits to people on medicare. that's when you cut into our kid's education. so you have to share responsibility in this. and we should not be kicking the can down the road when it comes to asking higher-income people
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to pay more toward the deficit. >> congressman chris van hollen, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. democrats better not cave in the fiscal cliff negotiations. they have a mandate and they should use it. the political analysis coming up on that. then they want the federal government to stop calling the shots. why are so many governors asking the government for help in implementing obama care. stay with us. having you ship my gifts couldn't be easier. well, having a ton of locations doesn't hurt.
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welcome back to "the ed show." the fiscal cliff negotiations began and a key e point is asking the wealthiest americans to pay a little more. the group went to washington this week to say tax us, we can take it. this deal shouldn't be done on the backs of the elderly and disabled. it's important to protect medicare. if the current trend continues, employers will cover less than 10% of retirees health care costs by the year 2031. the figure used to be as high as 50%. so when someone retireses, it's not like the company is going to be there with health care coverage for you. it's going to be less than 10% by that year i just said. that's a big problem. that's why we have to protect it. let's turn to nick hanauer who
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went to washington, d.c. yesterday to call for higher tax on wealthy americans and tara dowdell is with us. great to have both of you with us. >> thank you for having us. >> what kind of impact can you have on lawmakers? you have quite a group put together. wealthy americans who said, look at my finances, this is what we have to do. what kind of impact can you have? >> i think it's important to make the argument to these lawmakers that not only are we willing to be taxed more, but more particularly, that the prosperity of the country depends on us being taxed more. this fiscal cliff issue and the campaign itself was an argument between two competing ideas about where prosperity and jobs come from. the republican trickle-down idea if you pour money into somebody like me like an ingredient jobs will pop out of us like donuts or the alternative, which is middle out economics, in a
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capitalist economy it comes from informsing in the middle class. when the middle class thrives, so do business people like me. that argument needs to be made. it's not that we want to pay more taxes because we love the country. we have a huge stake in the middle class. the better they do, the better we'll do and that's why high tax rates for wealthy people are correlated with high rates of growth. >> tara, the politics of this shs the president has on the table a proposal. let's do the deal for 98% of americans right now. doesn't that arm republicans with the talking points to be able to go back home and say to 98% of you, i didn't raise your taxes. why won't they take that deal. >> republicans are being ob sta nant as they have always been. the bottom line here is that the democrats we have all the cards to play. the republicans don't have the cards to play. so the democrats need to stand firm on this and not give into
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anymore obstructionism. we don't have a rich people aren't rich enough problem in this country. we have a working poor people who are no longer working problem and the middle class is shrinking problem. the democrats need to pound home the message because those policies we propose are the policies that resinate. what the president is doing is taking to take the message public and he needs to continue to do that th because we have to be careful. they are saying they are going to work with democrats, but their track record hasn't been a good one. >> listening to mitch mcconnell wasn't very encouraging. let's talk about the bush tax cuts at the moment. almost $1 trillion is saved over ten years. $42 billion in the first year alone. here's a healthy sum. that's a healthy sum. is that really where we have to
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go? should we go further than the old rates? >> absolutely. i think it's good that the rate is going to go up. but we have to eliminate the interest deduction that's an abomination in our tax code. the 15% rate that private equity people like myself get. we have to let dividends go back up to the same rate that working people pay on taxes. the unearned income is a problem that's equally prenishs and robs the treasury of important funds. people think the republicans are afraid that the economy will be harmed when tax rates go up on the rich. it's the opposite of the truth. they are terrified that when tax rates go up on the rich, it's not going to harm the economy. and 30 years of ridiculous orthodox si are going to go down
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the drain. >> i want to play this sound byte by mitch mcconnell today. >> i can say on the part of my members that we fully understand that you can't save the country until you have entitlement programs that fit the demographics of the changing america in the coming years. we're prepared to put revenue on the table, provided we fix the real problem. >> so tara, senator mcconnell is angling for a fight amongst democrats over entitlements. is it going to work? >> he hopes it will work. i don't think it will work this time. the bottom line here is that the public has made their choice in this election and president obama was very clear throughout this election. he's been clear that he didn't want to continue the bush tax cuts for the top income earners. so the one thing i want to see more democrats do is those of us who are, you know, not in congress, we need to be out there pushing too. because last anytime what happened shs the president got
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elected and everyone acted like he was going to be a magician and he could rule and do all these things. we need the public to push back and let them know that we are not going to stand for this anymore. people have to sacrifice. >> there's no political off season is what i'm hearing. great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour. stay right with us. president obama wins, will you move forward with the health care exchange? >> we will work for the best interests in the state. >> governor scott walker announced a hands-off approach to obama care. the nation's john nichols will tell us why it's good news for wisconsinit wisconsinit wisconsinnitis. >> we'll take a look at his reasons. i'll tell you what's behind the fake fiscal cliff at the u.s. postal service. greg bell is here with the latest.
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welcome back to "the ed show." governors on the republican side, what they wanted to do was to oversee the supreme court overturn the law. they couldn't stand obama care. when that didn't work out, they believed that mitt romney would become president and he would repeal it. that didn't work out either. so the affordable care act remains the law of the land and now the same republican governors are left scrambling. and today was a big day. today was the day that states were supposed to let the obama administration know whether or not they would be forming their own health insurance exchanges. here we go. it's a component to the law. it will allow households and small businesses shop for private insurance. and many states have dragged
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their feet on the deadline, perhaps expecting a different outcome to the presidential election. they requested an extension, states now have until mid-december to make their decision. if a state chooses not to set up an exchange, it can either share responsibility with the federal government or let the fed's handle it completely in their state. you'd think the conservative governors around the country would denounce the idea because of federal control that they would want to set up their own state exchange. think again. >> scott walker decided to let the federal government implement exchanges. >> there's the government takeover. but it was walker who made the decision. and you know what, he's not alone. bob mcdonald of virginia, why would he do that? he's letting the federal government set up the health ek change. who is that? john kasich of ohio is doing it too? and rick perry of texas?
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folks, the list goes on and on. walker explained his reasoning for leaving it up to the fed's earlier. >> you're going to get a house, but the federal government is going to design the interior, all the amenities, the furniture, everything else and the only thing left is they ask you whether you want blinds or curtains, but you're getting the mortgage. >> governor walker, you're not whining are you? folks, you know what this means? this means these republican governors who do not want obama care and they are going to turn it over to the fed's, what they are doing is setting up an exchange and setting up the system for us to down the road go to universal health care. brilliant move by the obama care folks, don't you think? joining me now is john nichols, washington correspondent.
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john, good to have you with us tonight. by rejecting the state-run exchanges, are these republicans paving the way for universal health care? >> i sure hope they are paving the way for universal health care, it's a great idea. but the fact of the matter is they are harming their own states. states are different. they have different levels of commitment to health care. many states have built out their own systems. and governor walker, who spoke about this building of a house was exactly wrong. in most states, you have the outlines of a house. what the federal government gave states the opportunity to do was to outfit that house as they chose to use what they already have in place. instead these governors are choosing a one-size-fits-all solution that will be worse in some cases. they are turning money back to the federal government at a time when we are supposed to be broke. these states that refuse to set up their own exchanges are turns tens of millions of dollars back to the federal government and
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doing it for only one reason and that's out of spite. they are mad at barack obama. >> they are. but when it comes to the delivery system and the money that can be saved in the long haul, if the federal government comes into a state and sets up the mechanisms in place, doesn't it make it easier to get universal health care when that time comes? >> absolutely, it does. and you know, this is the bizarre thing about their choice. the fact is that they could create unique and different systems in different states. when the affordable care act was passed, it was passed with flexibility. they thought states establish their own exchanges would get buy-in. instead they are refusing this and the end result is, we are going to have a much more nationalized program. it's going to be good for some states. some states have not done enough
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on health care. and those states will have better quality. but some states, the governors are cutting off their knows to spite their face. >> meanwhile, congressman phil ging ri says it would be pointless to keep voting on full repeal of obama care. instead they would try to chip away at pieces of the law. is this going to be successful? >> well, it's a little bit like we see on social security and medicare. there are folks who have never liked social security and medicare. so they are always trying to starve it, to privatize it, to undermine it in some ways. this is the strategy they seem to be adopting. but remember this, social security, medicare and medicaid have grown to be popular programs and the affordable care act will in short order be a popular program. >> the governors who are turning it back and not implementing it, there's going to be states that do implement it. then the stories are going to start crossing state lines about
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who has the best delivery system. i think these republican governors down the road are going to pay a political price for not doing it the way they should be doing it. john nichols, thanks for being with us. coming up, talk of secession is so 1860 but it's not stopping thousands of americans from petitions to leave. stay with us. [ thunder crashes ] [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them.
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and that their homeowners insurance protects them. [ thunder crashes ] it doesn't. stop pretending. only flood insurance covers floods. ♪ visit floodsmart.gov/pretend to learn your risk. we love hearing from our viewers on twitter @edshow. many are talking about the story on our blog about the denny's franchise owner forcing customers to pay a surcharge to coffer the cost of obama care. some say it's okay to increase prices, but this is clearly a political statement. john holmes says there's no doubt it's class warfare.
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now we need to convince all the working class poor who vote for republicans. and mike says, according to denny's we either stiff the server or pay more. third choice anyone? keep sharing your thoughts with us on facebook or twitter. next up, a look at the man behind the alabama secession movement. find out the real reasons he's looking to break away from the united states. stay tuned. we're right back. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and... social security are just numbers in a budget. well, we worked hard for those benefits. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal... we'll all pay the price. aarp is fighting to protect seniors with responsible... solutions that strengthen medicare and... social security for generations to come. we can do better than a last minute deal... that would hurt all of us. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard,
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we are back on "the ed show." since president obama's reelection, we witness eed conservatives making their way through the stages of grief. denial, anger, now many have seemed to hit the bargaining stage. conservatives have resorted to petitioning the obama administration to let the individual states just get the hell out of the union. citizens like derrick belcher. >> i don't think the federal government is being fair with the american people.
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i think they are being overbearing and taxing us to death and they are taking our freedoms away at a break-neck speed. >> he's a truck driver and former business owner from the great state of alabama. he filed a petition for secession on november 9th which has gathered 29,000 signatures. he has several reasons for wanting to break off. the most personal stemming from a loss love a business in 2001. the government ripped my business away and now they are choking america e to death with rules and regulations. what business was belcher in? for a decade, he owned euro details, a topless car wash. a car wash that featured topless women. we have a problem here, folks. in 2001 he was arrested and charged with obscenity by city officia
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officials. and the business had to shut down. but here's the catch. in 1998 the great state of alabama enacted a law prohibiting private clubs and businesses from allowing breasts to be shown for entertainment. a law so broad the film "titanic" could be illegal in alabama. sure sounds like freedom to me. what mr. belcher doesn't get the federal government had nothing to do with the state law that cost him his business. and the people saying the talking points about freedom are more likely to be the ones instituting the laws that brings down topless car washes. and we all know in america topless car washes are really a problem. tonight in our survey, i asked, will the gop stop their witch hunt on benghazi. 6% say yes, 94% say no. coming up, the post office is in financial trouble and
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[ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take an extra 10 percent off storewide, now through sunday. you won't just find us online, you'll also find us in person, with dedicated support teams at over 500 branches nationwide. so when you call or visit, you can ask for a name you know. because personal service starts with a real person. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. our support teams are nearby, ready to help. it's no wonder so many investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. in the big finish tonight, the united states postal service is in danger of collapse. the republican philosophy is privatization. we know that. they are destroying the postal
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service to get their way. the post office reported a 15 ppt 9 $15.9 billion loss. the post office is losing money because of a 2006 law passed in a lame duck session of the congress by the republicans. the law requires the post office to prefund employee's retirement accounts for the next 75 years. i wonder if mitt romney would say that's a good business plan. these overpayments make up $11 billion of this year's net loss. now the other $5 billion is because of the decline in mailing that's taken place in operations, but it would have been manageable. both problems can be fixed. in april the senate passed a bill allowing the postal service to regain in postal payments. the bill went nowhere. speaker john boehner didn't want anything to do with it. the revenue problem can be solved by modernizing the postal
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service. bernie sanders says this is what we can do about it. . >> the postal service has to change. it has to be entrepreneurial. much more pro-consumer. in our state, we have many rural post offices. people want to go there to get letters copied. can't do that. they want to get letters, notarized, against the law. there are many areas the postal service can bring in substantially more revenue. >> and this is breaking news. no tax dollars go to the operation of the postal service. that's right. zero dollars. these solutions are simple, but republicans are against helping the post office because they want to see it eliminated, bust the union, privatize it. the longer nothing is done, more jobs are lost.
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the postal service has plans to close 260 post offices around the country. this means that an additional that's at risk if nothing is done. republicans in action on this issue is actually shameless. they have had all year to come to the table to work with the democrats, but they haven't done it. they are hell bent on seeing the u.s. postal service die. even if it means destroying a great american institution in the process, they don't care. they want it privatized. let's turn to greg bell with the postal workers union. good to have you with us tonight. what's the number one thing that can be done right now to save the postal service as we know it? >> the one thing that must be done is to eliminate the unrealistic mandate that the postal service has to prefund
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retiree health care benefits for a 75-year period within a ten-year period. that's number one. that's the main cause of the postal service problems. as a matter of fact, that is the cause. if you remove that liability, the postal service would be able to assume the responsibility without any type of additional funds. >> i want to emphasize here that this is going to financially butcher small business in america, in rural america. what are they going to do? their shipping costs are going to go through the roof. their line item is going to go off the page because they won't be able to cover in service rule america when the post office does right now for many of these companies. mr. bell, it's good to have you with us. it's a

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